Australian Government Productivity Commission Report
The ABAA welcomed the release of the report 30th March 2012, particularly in the context of the acknowledgment by the Commissionersthat the business aviation sector of the aviation industry is large and growing, with over 34,000 turbine powered aircraft operating across the world.
Business aviation is now an essential part of the overall transport needs in Australia with many companies and the Federal Government also using their aircraft to travel overseas.
Positive statements made by the Productivity Commission are a major endorsement for business aviation in Australia, with recognition that business aviation has played an important role in Australia’s participation in regional and global economic growth.
[…] grievances of the general aviation sector reflect the outcome of an inexorable trend towards major airports focusing on RPT services, rather than general aviation. The Commission considers that efficiency is likely to be enhanced through the relocation of smaller general aviation operators to secondary airports, where facilities are appropriate for the activities undertaken.
However, for business aviation and some other operators, secondary airports are often not a substitute for access to the major capital city airports […] the ABAA highlighted that for many international corporate and business travellers, flying via private aircraft was essential, with its own research suggesting that […] a number of governments and international companies require their executives and officers to travel on owned or chartered business aircraft. Details of these requirements can be found for many US-domiciled companies in SEC filings for listed companies. The ABAA stated that such aircraft could only use airports that had adequate runway length and aprons to accommodate a range of aircraft sizes & weights. Also, migration & customs services.
The report, also includes several references to the role of business aviation in Australia.
While smaller general aviation operators such as charter flights and pilot training can be operated from secondary airports & smaller airfields, this is not feasible for all operators. For example business aviation operators using larger aircraft (including up to Boeing 737s) require access to the major capital city airports.
The term ‘general aviation’ refers to […] a range of aviation related activities and business, primarily using smaller aircraft and using secondary airports […] General aviation performs an essential role within the broader aviation industry and in providing services such as charter flights, aerial agriculture, aeromedical services, search and rescue, fire-fighting, surveying and aerial photography, pilot training, aircraft maintenance and repair work. It also includes private and recreational flying.Australian Government 2009. p.62
The above reference to 'general aviation' does not mention business aviation, particularly business jets.The ABAA has proposed that business jets not be included in the ‘general aviation’ category for the purposes of Assessment of Priorities in Australian airspace and at capital city CTRs or overlying control areas. The proposal includes raising the priority status of business jets to that of non-scheduled commercial operations.